Daughter Kristen 23 Yr Cervical Cancer

My friend wrote about it.

A Book and a Mission               The last thing Kirk Forbes ever thought he would do is write a book. He also never imagined he would champion a major medical cause for women around the world.             And yet, because his daughter died at 23 of cervical cancer, he has done both. Writing the book started out as therapy to help him through the grieving process. The medical mission came from the realization that cervical cancer could be prevented through immunization.             Sadly, that immunization has become a source of stinging controversy across the country. The reason is, cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that carries the stigma of being sexually transmitted. No parent wants to think of their daughters that way.             Still, even the bonds of marriage won’t protect women from HPV. This year the United States Department of Health estimates more than 11,000 women of all ages and marital status will be diagnosed with the disease. Of these nearly 4,000 will die.             Actually, HPV is the most common of all sexually transmitted diseases. There are more than 150 strains of the virus and most, if not harmless, usually cause only mild and temporary symptoms. But the strains that cause cervical cancer are highly aggressive, and even when caught early, are often difficult to treat. And the treatment is often as debilitating as the disease.             In the case of Kirk’s daughter Kristen, treatment involved nearly a year of dramatic radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Still, at the end, it was too little, too late.             Most medical professionals believe such agony can be greatly diminished if not completely avoided through early inoculation. They stress the word “early,” since the vaccine, Gardasil, is ineffective once the person has been exposed to the virus. For this reason some countries now make the vaccine available to all young girls.             While the vaccine is generally available in the United States, efforts to make vaccination available to women of all ages have met fierce resistance. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, for example, has tried to get a bill passed which would provide the vaccine to everyone regardless of their ability to pay since three vaccinations are needed for immunization and each costs over $100. Unfortunately, his effort was defeated. Similar efforts have met like results in other states.             In addition to urging inoculation for women, there is also a move aimed at vaccinating men since it is now known that men do carry and transmit the virus. One classic example of this was Eva Peron, the wife of Argentine dictator Juan Peron. Eva died in 1952 reportedly of cervical cancer at the age of 33. The public was not informed of the cause of her death until many years later. Nor was it known that Peron’s first wife also died of cervical cancer at the age of 28. This knowledge puts a new and tragic complexion on the Broadway musical Evita.             Regardless of the controversy surrounding the vaccine, Kirk believes everyone should at least be given information about the disease and the vaccine that can prevent it. Such knowledge, he says will enable parents and women of all ages to make informed decisions regarding vaccination.             To this end he has written Love, Kristen. The book was put together from hundreds of his e-mail updates during his daughter’s illness, and from Kristen’s own journals in which she kept a detailed record of her disease and treatment. As a postscript, the book also includes a section of moving poetry that Kristen wrote throughout the years of her abbreviated life.             Kirk has also opened a web site which offers excerpts from the book, insight into Kristen’s life and numerous links to sources concerned with cervical cancer. Take a look at www.kristeneve.org.             You can order the book from the website or from Amazon.com, Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstores. To meet the author, however, and get a personally autographed copy of the book, plan to attend the official book launch party Saturday March 21at the Living Truth Bookstore, 17665 Cumberland Road in Noblesville. Kirk will be there from 10 am to 5 pm to sign books. Kirk says that selling the book, however, isn’t enough any more than writing it was. He is currently working toward developing a foundation in his daughter’s name that would be dedicated to fighting cervical cancer. He says he would like to call it the Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation, EVE standing for Education, Vaccination and Eradication.          After all, he says, a concentrated effort of education and inoculation wiped small pox and polio off the face of the earth. Kirk believes the same thing can be done to cervical cancer   Ward Degler - Columnist Zionsville Times Sentinel wdegler@att.net



piplance piplance
2 Responses Feb 23, 2009

I'm so sorry to hear of everyone who has suffered through their child dying & died of cancer! I lost my only child/daughter to cervical cancer at 36. I am a single Mom and have had a hard time with my feelings, venting and anger over this.

I lost my 45 year old daughter on 12-04-2010. I still can't believe she is gone. I miss her so much and really don't have anyone I can talk to that understands. She was diagnosed, treated and told she was cancer free. She continued to feel bad and they ran and reran MRI's and everything else but could find no sign of it. Her lower body swelled and they said it was something wrong with her lymph glands. She got spots on her lungs- it was pneumonia. She just steadily got worse. Finally they put her back in the hospital and reran the tests again. There it was, all over and there was nothing they could do but make her "comfortable". I will never understand how something so invasive can hide for so long and nobody can find it until its too late. I pray other mothers don't have to watch their daughters die from this horrible, hideous disease. Sue